The radio booth is the friendliest place on earth for a writer like me. At least, it was, on the day I came to talk about my book, Write Here Write Now: Standing at Attention Before My Imaginary Style Dictator.
First stop (ever) on my radio tour was Mellow 94.7, with DJ Vince Golangco and DJ Nova G, who was up early to stand in for DJ Tracy Abad, on the morning talk radio The Wake Up Show. How thrilled I am that DJ Vince dreams of writing a book. Why not? Maybe, it’s a different discipline from speaking, but, just like speaking to an audience, writing is about what you have to share and all that we think is most important, such as grammar for both written and oral communication, is important only because whatever we have to share ought to be understood.
“How do you do it? What do you do?” asked DJ Nova G.
“Just get started,” I said.
The DJ in the next radio station I visited, RX 93.1, was Rico Robles, Pinoy Big Brother graduate and variety show host-turned-sports journalist and he, too, expressed a desire to write. “I don’t know how. I’m not good at construction,” he said. “But I really do want to write.”
His partner on the morning show, DJ Francesca, wanted to know if my book would teach the readers what they needed in order to write well.
“It’s 90 percent inspirational,” I said. “It covers the whole gamut, from grammar to punctuation, from discipline to fortitude, anything that comes into play when you write, even self-confidence, but its goal really is to push the writer to just do it.”
I could not have overemphasized the importance of grammar or any of its rules (which we can break for effect but only if we know them well enough), if I wanted to, but I wish I had enough airtime to tell the listeners of both programs that, to use an analogy, grammar is the house, but your story, your subject, your topic, or your point of view is the home.
We can ruin a home just because we cannot house it in a beautiful place or even a decent place, but a house that is not a home — or has never been — has no story to share.
Grammar, construction, or structure only plays second fiddle to the tale you have to tell.
Written in the language of a five-year-old, from his point of view, and according to his level of knowledge, the international bestseller Room by Emma Donaghue is a classic example.
Have you read it?
That’s the other thing and this is why my book is, in fact, a reading list.
If you want to write, read!